Caitlyn Jenner’s interview with Diane Sawyer last year won Outstanding TV Journalism – Newsmagazine at the GLAAD Media Awards on Saturday night, and Jenner was there to accept the honor.
“First of all, I had been trashed in the tabloids for years. I had paparazzi following me everywhere I went. The life was really horrible. When I decided after many conversations with my family, with God, about what I should do with my life, I called up my good buddy Alan Nierob, who [was] my PR guy many years ago,” Jenner said. “And I had told him my story 25, 30 years earlier. And he never said a word to anybody. He’s a good, trustworthy person. And I said, ‘How can we do this that we can elevate not just me, but this community?'”
The former Olympian and advocate for LGBT rights went on to explain how the interview with Sawyer came together, and what it meant for her and trans people around the world.
Read Jenner’s speech below.
Our community does not deserve to be down here [puts hand down low], trashed, mocked in the tabloids. Our community deserves to be up here [hand high], done right. We are here. We are people. We are human beings. And the society we live should be up here. And in deciding to do this, we went with Mark [Robertson] […] Diane’s producer and we said, ‘How can we do this?’ I couldn’t have found a better person. We both wanted Diane to do this. Diane you did this episode. You can only tell your story the first time once. And it was done perfectly — not just for me, but for the community. And it really started this last year off for me on such a positive note.
I remember sitting on the couch getting ready to watch the show. I had not seen it. First of all, I want to thank ABC. Because, originally it was supposed to be one hour. And then Diane said, ‘There is just too much material here. We need two hours.’ We went to you guys, and they said, ‘You’ve got two hours.’ So I want to thank ABC for that. But my biggest concern, always — and anybody in this room, when you have secrets, and you live your life with secrets, your biggest concerns are your loved ones. And I have 10 children. And my biggest concern was my kids. Especially my last two, little Kendall and Kylie, who were 17 and 18 at the time. And I remember sitting there on the couch. I had Kylie on [my right side], Kendall on [my left side], and the show was getting ready to go. Okay, we’re doing this. How’s it going to turn out? Within minutes after the show started, social media started to go crazy, okay? Celebrities — I think it was Lady Gaga was the first one, within 15 minutes of the show — with these positive comments. And the list went on and on and on. And, of course, I do live in the most social media family in the world by far. And I’ve got Kourtney, Kimberly, Khloe, Kendall, Kylie, everybody is there on the couch, with a reach of about 250 million people. And they all have their little phones going. ‘Oh, my God, look at this comment, look at this comment.’ The show was done in such a compassionate way.
And it just really started it off. And I’m so indebted to Diane, to ABC, to Mark. To everybody involved with it. Because, boy, it has been quite a ride for the last year. And there is nothing better in life, than living your life authentically. Thank you.
—Reporting by Jeffrey Slonim